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14 Indian Cities Among World's Top 20 Cities With The Most Air Pollution: WHO Report

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 2 , 2018 , 08:16 IST

A total of 14 Indian cities were among the top 20 most polluted cities in the world in 2016 based on their respective PM 2.5 levels, a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva on Wednesday revealed. In terms of PM 10 levels, 13 Indian cities were among the 20 most polluted in the world.

The Indian cities marked in the report include Delhi, Varanasi, Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala, and Jodhpur. Apart from India, Kuwait's Ali Subah Al-Salem and a few cities in China and Mongolia also made it to the 2016 list.

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"WHO estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia," the report said.

"Around 3 billion people, more than 40 percent of the world's population, still do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in their homes, the main source of household air pollution," it said.

According to the WHO report, more than 90 percent of the air pollution-related deaths take place in low and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, followed by low and middle-income countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas.

The report did mention, however, that the nations with the most polluted cities are making efforts, for example, India's Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana which in 2 years has provided 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to switch to clean household energy use.